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Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


I've never seen the show and I honestly know almost nothing about it.

I watched the first episode and was pretty stoked by some stuff:

S1E1
Non-oxygen breathing alien forcing them to have a separate chamber was cool.

I thought the show might be ridiculous by the screenshots I've seen over the years, but it seems to take itself kind of seriously, which I love because I've read shitloads of serious sci-fi books, and I love the politics ones best.


I'm going to stick to spoilering basically all of my thoughts by episode since I know at least one other poster is on a blind watch too. I'd appreciate it if everyone would stick to that!

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Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


also I will just get it out of the way:

the CGI is so horrible as to be jarring during some scenes and I am actively closing my eyes to ignore it at points

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E2: why is the station commander allowed to pilot ships on missions

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


I love the show intro btw, it's exactly like the Joe Friday opening to every Dragnet episode.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E3: Londo's aide reminds me a lot of Guillermo from What We Do In The Shadows.

Also I might have a thing for babes with bald heads and pony tails now.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E4 hey they addressed the "why the commander is doing insane front line poo poo" thing!

Also liked when Garibaldi bought that unidentifiable object at the beginning of the episode.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Frankenstyle posted:

I'm so glad I saw this show when it came out, because it doesn't hold up well now.

I'm not seeing too much of an issue with it right now. Enjoying the characters and writing, actually think it's improving rapidly as the season goes on too. :shrug:

e: unless you were talking about the CG, as below, but it has a kind of charm and it's not being overused so far apart from episode 1. hopefully that remains the case

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 15:35 on Jun 1, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


The_Doctor posted:

Watching The Gathering now, and it's definitely required viewing. LOTS of setup all over the place, dearly missing from the first eps of the series.

drat. All right, I'll pause and watch that one tonight before moving on.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Tried looking for it everywhere and can't find The Gathering on streaming to buy.

I did find spoilers for a main character (the framing narrative of "In The Beginning") when I found the dvd that was released containing both of those though :smith:

e: oh nice, YouTube still has a copy for purchase streaming

e2: youtube refuses to run it even after buying it but I did find a reddit comment a page down that mentioned for some reason The Gathering is listed as the last episode of season 1 (ep 0) when they usually put those at the beginning. Bizarre but hey

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Jun 2, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


If there's one good thing about this whole finagling it's that I only just found out there are 5 seasons of this show. I had it in my mind there were 3 for some reason. Bonus!

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


drat that pilot really did need to be watched first. The Vorlon are only seen briefly once or twice in the next 4 or 5 episodes. The Commander's backstory also would have been nice to have.

E: OH and most important, G'Kar's cunning plan to sleep with the telepath because lmao

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 03:20 on Jun 2, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Holy gently caress S1E6!!! let me make sure I get this straight

The Earth is secretly being controlled by the psycorps

There was a long detailed explanation about how awesome loving is when you're both telepaths

The psycorps figured out how to juice up psychics

But the one they juiced up the most became so psychic he transcended?

I'm going to ignore the transparent 3d CG model of him post transcendence because lmao


E: I love poo poo about transcended races, it's one of the things I love seeing explored in stuff like the Culture books. The psychic dude and then G'Kar's speech about elder races are very much my poo poo

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 04:01 on Jun 2, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

also have you seen any Stargate?

I've watched the original movie like 4 or 5 times but never any of the TV shows lol

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Bell_ posted:

This is still one of my favorite moments of the entire series, and what got me hooked on B5 as a whole. It's still my favorite science fiction series.

I didn't expect to have a speech about that be better written in this show than in most of the instances I've read about it in novels. I am hooked for sure.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


VideoGames posted:

1-2 finished!
w Morgan shepherd was pretty awesome in this and goodness what an interesting kind of alien.

I was really intrigued by his mentioning of Delenn being a Satai? (Not sure the correct word) but from her introduction I have had that bit of dialogue from the first episode about how the minbari just stopped the war with humanity and why that was.

It feels like an episode that any other series would treat as a monster of the week episode but in fact is laying down ground work for something bigger!

No idea what but that is why I am watching.

I do like the new doctor too!

S1E2
Definitely a fan of the bits of long-term plot getting sprinkled around right from the beginning.

Also I liked the mention in Soul Hunter of "well, you could capture a 'soul' by putting them in a personality matrix" (not direct quote). It's exactly what I was thinking myself at the time. Like yeah, you could totally do it given the right technology.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Those remastered videos getting linked is actually what reminded me to give the show a try!

Also, just got my best friend to start watching too. He's a huge TNG fan, I am curious to see what he thinks.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


VideoGames posted:

1-3 Born to the Purple


Can I just say that I have seen some of the title names for the episodes and they are great. They have a sort of old skool scifi feel to them.

This one was even better. Londo is a really interesting character. I am not quite sure what to make of him. I absolutely buy his feelings for Adira and hers for him despite what she did. That final wave at her as his expression changes to sadness and loss is excellent acting.

I also liked seeing Sinclair be a bit devious (leading to that wonderful moment with g-Kar. G-kar’s little “oh you” grin when Sinclair complimented him made me grin.

I think so far I most enjoy the back and forth between Londo and G-Kar and wish to see more of them. They act like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in the odd couple and while they feel like arch enemies there is also a kind of playful respect and friendship. It is great!

Something else I like is that despite having a big cast they only show the people necessary. The episodes are dense and too often in big ensembles you have to show every character even if they are not doing things. This feels more tightened.

The Garabaldi and ianova sub story was also very touching.

I think I have enough time for two more episodes tonight!


Agreed across the board. Love Londo and G-Kar's interactions, and really everything G-Kar. He reminds me a bit of Herman Munster (voice-wise if nothing else).

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


you mentioned a spin-off, and I know there are other movies but I think they were all post series.

when will we need to think about watching spin-offs/movies? Not for a long time? I tried a combined Buffy/Angel rewatch a couple years ago and working out production order between both was a nightmare.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


The_Doctor posted:

S1e4 “Don’t. You’re too young to experience that much pain.”


Illya Kuryakin/Duckie! :toot:

David McCallum gets to do a Roy Batty: “In the last five years, I’ve seen things off-world you can’t imagine. I stood in the lbendi Desert and saw all seven moons go into eclipse. I’ve walked in vaults sealed longer than humans have existed, breathing air that’s five million years old. Call that a shortcut if you will, but I’ve lived. By god, Stephen, I’ve lived.

There’s a horrible representation of a journalist here, all ‘freedom of the press!’ when there’s clearly an emergency going on, and getting in the way. Observe the story, don’t be the story.

Where did those cool huge guns from the pilot go? They’d be better than the pea shooters security have.

Picking and choosing from the Alien franchise here; Bioweapons, breaking quarantine for profit margins, transformation of human into an alien, etc. Probably the first ‘eh’ episode, with what feels like a ‘Well that will never happen here! <wink wink>’ foreshadowing at the end.


I thought this episode was pretty weak too for what it's worth, but nice seeing David McCallum so relatively young.

The worst part was the suspension of disbelief required that the Doctor would be called away from meeting his friend and his mercenary guy who just arrived with artifacts, to look in on the unexpected murder of a cargo inspector, and not put two and two together.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Watching S1E7 now but forgot to post speculation last night after watching S1E0, and I assume wild accusations are appreciated by the people who've seen this before so
Nothing so far has convinced me that Vorlons couldn't just be another section of humans. :colbert:

E:S1E7
I posted the above right after Sinclair meets him at the beginning. Also you were right about them recapping everything from the pilot. I'm glad they didn't retcon seemingly any of it! Going to finish the ep before I post any more thoughts

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 22:49 on Jun 2, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E7 thoughts

Cotto telling people back home he's the amabassador made me lol

Londo's 3 wives, Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Amazing

Woof the asian xenophobe guy's acting. big woof

If Garibaldi's ex from years ago shows up out of the blue in the next few episodes too I'm going to be peeved.

drat, Cotto standing up for his beliefs, and Londo's response. "My shoes are too tight, but I've forgotten how to dance." Fantastic stuff.

Good episode overall, maybe a little weaker on the xenophobe storyline. Flipflopping my favorite characters basically by episode :love: Londo


E: forgot to follow up on my last post, I was glad to see them not only fully embrace the pilot but address the obvious question of who the gently caress's hand she psychically saw get poisoned

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 00:05 on Jun 3, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E8 Wow, a pretty much purely "main story" episode. This show was way ahead of its time.

Great episode. I thought they'd string things along a lot more but no, 8 episodes in and we confirm Delenn's being part of the peace treaty/his lost time. And the show had the decency to have Sinclair realize it too.

I like how the show completely ignores plot points for episodes at a time, but still treats them as important enough that they can carry an entire episode when they reappear.


E: regarding the above post about the cast - I was thinking the same thing about this episode. I liked it a lot despite having few of what I consider my favorite things from the previous episodes.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E9
This episode is absolutely all over the place but there's so much good poo poo here.

First off the obvious: "Understanding is a three edged sword." The Kosh and Abbut scenes here were great. The Vorlons implying they are immortal.

Hell yeah our first assembly! Finally this politics tag feels right.

Also Lennier is cool and my friend and I will not allow ill to be spoken of him. There are so many characters on this show that are so damned good and so well acted. I think part of it goes back to the cast fluctuating in and out.

And I assumed the serum was some kind of poison, I like the "cost" twist a lot more.

Talia's thing at the end. He's a recorder? So he was recording her thought patterns and Kosh was.. what, using varying nonsense sentences until they triggered a terrible memory?

drat there was a lot going on in this episode.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


I'm not sure if I watched the dubbed-lines version of The Gathering or not, but one of her lines was read as "I'll get you a fruit baskets", to the point even the subtitles said it, and that was pretty weird.

E: Which reminds me, the subtitles for this on Amazon are pretty terrible, which sucks because my hearing is bad so I have trouble with dialogue occasionally.

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 13:35 on Jun 3, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


sebmojo posted:

Jms was a hilarious all fronts forums warrior, it's funny reading only his side of arguments

i am legitimately excited about finishing the series to be able to read 1990s usenet flamewars with the creator

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Watched a couple more episodes. This show is seriously so good. I will let the other 2 posters catch up so we can discuss.


Fellow blind watchers when you finish 1x9 please help me figure out wtf was going on with the "recorder of thoughts" things w/ Abbutt.

E: Also when we finish the season we should discuss and speculate

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


I would appreciate it ITT if you just don't post anything about the content of future seasons, even spoiler tagged. Hell even I'm taking a break from posting my thoughts to give the other posters the chance to catch up without maybe accidentally getting spoiled.

It doesn't help that you literally can't quote a post without seeing the spoilers contained therein. And I'm on a lovely trackpad/navigate mostly by keyboard so having to move my cursor to make scrolling not accidentally uncover spoilers is actually annoying.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Zaroff posted:

Question to the newbies - what triggered watching Babylon 5? As far as I'm aware it's now only available on DVD (wasn't it taken down from Amazon Prime?), so to have several people all jumping in at the same time is a welcome surprise.

I'm enjoying watching this thread; but unlike something like Star Trek which is on Netflix it seems like this is a less likely show to have multiple people start fresh at the same time.

I started for a couple reasons, personally. I was reading the space ships thread in this forum and saw some of the ships from this show posted, plus a video of the "remastered" CGI.

Seeing those made me remember thinking I had tried to watch the show years ago and bounced off.. and realized I'd been conflating Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5 as the same show in my head for years. I'd never tried Babylon 5 at all. I'm a huge science fiction fan so I felt like it deserved a chance.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


TraderStav posted:

So far all of the episodes you have watched are in the correct order. Any modifications are pretty subtle and does not have large implications.

Can you or someone please post the two different episode orders with titles? It would be nice just to ensure we're watching in the same order, as I believe The_Doctor is watching on Plex, and I don't know what VideoGames is watching on. I'm personally going by the order they're in on Amazon streaming.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Wow, they originally showed it 5 nights a week? That's crazy, but man watching this show air like that in 93 must have been incredible.

e: VVVVV lol that makes way more sense.

Aardvark! fucked around with this message at 19:01 on Jun 4, 2020

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


TraderStav posted:

My mistake, I didn't look at that when I pulled it off of the lurkers guide. I'm assuming that's the same airing order from 93 though?

The one you posted matches Amazon's order, at least.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Also, as much as I wanted to let them catch up, I am pretty hooked on this show and I don't think I'm going to be able to hold out knowing I have over a hundred episodes left to watch.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


The_Doctor posted:

S1E09 - Deathwalker! <starts punching>

“A stroke of the brush does not guarantee art from the bristles.”


Man, Na’Toth just starts wailing on that woman. Starts punching, stops, grabs a tool and carries on harder. Jha’dur’s costume is very samurai, but looks good.


I loved this too. The show didn't soften it at all either. That was a straight up murder attempt. And it gave a huge amount of character to someone that had mostly been pretty minor.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Torrannor posted:

You're brave, I'd always be wary of looking up things like that for fear of spoilers.

I had to stop even googling actor names,since google brings up pictures of the show instantly in previews if they're not a big enough actor. I'm making a notepad of actors to look up after I finish.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Any other huge untagged GOT spoilers yall wanna discuss here in the Babylon 5 blind watch thread?

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E10 I wasn't a huge fan of this episode. I think the doctor's deafness leaves his acting a little flat compared to the rest of the cast, so his storylines aren't as impactful. Also his set is one of the worst, the medical scanner is like a plastic paperweight or something and not remotely convincing.


The underlying moral problem here is pretty interesting. If it were humans I would obviously side with the Dr., but in episode 2 we literally saw souls being released from glass orbs, or at least that's what was implied. How can we pass judgement on alien customs given that?


S1E11 The West Wing did the "lost sobriety" episode better. I did like this episode, but if you're going to have your alcoholic character lose his sobriety it should be a bigger deal imo. Good backstory for Garibaldi, decent episode plot with the frame-up and eventual resolution.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


Man how has there not been a new big-budget prestige show with this or a similar premise yet?

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


One thing that's helping me with the sets is trying to think of the show more as a play than as television. It fits with some of the acting, too, you can tell Michael O'Hare spent a lot of time on stage.

Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


S1E13 - Signs and Portents
Short thoughts for now, I'll come back around with more once The_Doctor posts their thoughts.

I said "What?" and "What the gently caress?" a dozen times this episode. I was thinking "wow the shadows are cool, too bad the raiders are boring AF and going to come back" and 10 seconds later "HOLY gently caress LOOK AT THAT HUGE TENTACLE SHIP CLOSING THAT STORYLINE"

great episode, going to binge a lot of this show today I think.

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Aardvark!
May 17, 1993


The_Doctor posted:

Did you skip 1x12 - By Any Means Necessary?

I didn't, I'm just sticking to high level thoughts/reactions since I have to take notes if I want to remember specific lines/etc. and I'm watching all this on my TV now. I missed posting about 12 because it was the last one I watched before I got busy with other stuff last night.

I'm going to let you do your longer write-ups and add my thoughts after the fact, mostly. Don't feel pressured or anything, I'm just too lazy to do a more thoughtful analysis on my phone.

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